Saatchi Gallery to Hold its First All-Female Show


Julia Wachtel’s Champagne Life.


The Guardian reports that London’s Saatchi Gallery has announced that it will hold an all-female exhibition titled “Champagne Life,” which will include the work of 14 emerging women artists from around the world. The exhibition will open on January 13.

The show takes its name from a work by American artist Julia Wachtel, which juxtaposes upside-down photos of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West holding hands with upright figures of Minnie Mouse.

Saatchi Gallery’s chief executive, Nigel Hurst, told the Guardian,

“We’ve always supported the work of women artists over the years, many of those have gone on to have key roles in the contemporary art world, but I think there’s still a huge amount of work to be done. Though women artists are far better represented in contemporary art now, in terms of the number of women artists that are having their work exhibited and shown, there remains a glass ceiling that needs to be addressed.…

“[T]he art industry suffers from the fact that if you take a break from working it’s perceived that you’re maybe not as serious about your profession as you should be. Women artists are no different to women everywhere, they have to juggle family commitments with their working practice. So I think they probably have to keep more plates spinning than their male counterparts.”

The article reminds us that the highest price for a work by a living female artist is $7.1 million for a Yayoi Kusama painting, compared to $58.4 million for a Jeff Koons sculpture. Additionally, it notes that the East London Fawcett group’s 2013 audit of 134 commercial galleries in London revealed that only 31% of represented artists were women. (ARTnews conducted its own comprehensive review of the status of women in the art world, which you may read here.)

Refreshingly, however, the show will not be representing any female-specific themes. Stephanie Quayle, another featured artist who will provide clay sculptures of cattle for the exhibition, commented, “It’s about pulling together of artists from all over the world and showing how we’re all working so differently and doing what it is that makes us want to get into the studio every day.”

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